Good Morning Barbara and fellow Nature Compadres,
I love all my contemplations that get triggered during the levee walks. It turns my river visits into adventurous explorations. All too often there is just one more sighting that seduces me to stay a little longer than planned. Frankly I don’t have much willpower to resist the call of Nature, which means that the dishes pile up in my sink since there are just so many hours in the day…

male Bufflehead…now?

What is the male BUFFLEHEAD doing on the river? The BUFFLEHEADS males migrated over 2 weeks ago and since then I haven’t seen feather or beak of a male. But there he was: paired up with a female. Did they arrive together or did he choose one of the 2 left behind spinsters? The last remaining COMMON GOLDENEYE kept her eyes on the couple from a safe distance.

lush survivors…

Well, I am once again on my crusade to save the survivors from the San Lorenzo Urban River Plan planting. As I mentioned before, these feisty natives are determined to buck repeated radical mowing and claim their right to live. Right now they are lush, green and spreading with vim and vigor. So keep your fingers crossed that my flag markers don’t keep disappearing, that my weeding circles around them help, that alerting maintenance staff to their location will save-guard their growth future.
The two RED-throated LOONs are still on the river, obviously avoiding the long trip up north. The red ‘getting-ready-to-mate’ marking on one of the birds is getting brighter and more distinct each day. So far that exterior signal hasn’t sparked the interior flame to migrate to the breeding grounds. Instead the RED-throated Loon lallygags on the water, takes a rest on the shore by the Riverside Ave. bridge, hangs out with other LOON, forages a little, evidently soaking up the pleasant Estuary life.

RED-throated LOON ignores red neck message

What great fun that was to introduce over 80 Mission Hill High Middle school students to the San Lorenzo River birds! Kathleen Crocetti’s art class students will be doing a mosaic bird mural along the river path across from Trader Joe’s. In preparation for the project she asked me to give a presentation to 3 classes about the river birds to be topped off with levee field trips. None of the students had ever birded before and two other birders joined me to open the students’ eyes to river’s bird cornucopia. It was really special to watch how a bird would leave one student cold while an other one was thrilled to high heaven by the bird.

PEREGRINE rendezvous…

This Sunday morning two regular levee visitors told me that they had heard Peregrine calls in the Trestle trees as an other one flew in, briefly perched and then 3 PEREGRINES flew out of the tree. One looked like a juvenile, who just might be the result of an earlier PEREGRINE rendezvous. PEREGRINES nest on cliff and building ledges. That made us wonder if the offspring had fledged somewhere nearby on the cliffs.


The next time you drive by the T-intersection of Ocean St. & San Lorenzo River Blvd. be sure to check out the progress we made along the rock wall thanks to the 6 Downtown Street Team(DST). They joined the Estuary Project last Saturday to clear the weeds around previous year’s natives planting. The members worked hard and did a mighty fine job as you can see.

looking good...
looking good…

So when you see the yellow shirted DST group on the levee, be sure to thank them for helping change the river image.

DST crew making a change…

Thank you so much for your kind words for my 2018 Volunteer Award that came my way unexpectedly. To-day I just might get teary-eyed when I receive that honor…
Sending you spring river chirps, jane

10 thoughts on “WHAT…?

  1. What a great group of people to work so consistently to remove invasives and encourage the natives to grow. YEA! Do you think that the climate changes we are experiencing may be impacting the migrating birds? Sure enjoy your blog, Jane!

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Your encouraging words are so welcomed! There are some odd little changes I observe: late nesting for some bird species, vegetation growth/blooming out of season, absence of some bird species, etc. There is a wicked combo going on for Mama Nature: the climate change & the land development.
      These changes do effect migratory/local bird species habitats/patterns. Sending you down stream greetings, jane

    1. Hi Tony, that is Anthony, the leader of the DST levee group. He does have a twin brother, who is also a DST leader. They are both doing really well. Do you know them?
      I am following your posts w/great interest. Thanks & the best to you, jane

      1. Yes, we know them here in Felton. They lived here for quite a while. They were part of the reason we established the Facebook page ‘Felton League’. At the time, we had a small group affiliated with Take Back Santa Cruz that was targeting them and others within our Community.

      2. Hi Tony, you’ll be happy to hear that they made a change in their lives. Other people have known them as well from their previous hard times & are very impressed how well they are doing thanks to the DST positive guidance & support. Anthony is a really good leader: he works hard, is focused, has his team’s respect & they get the work done. Take care, jane

      3. I think that some of those who know Anthony and Robert would be less impressed than those who do not because they recognized the potential. They would be more pleased than impressed. May I post a link to this article on the Facebook page ‘Felton League’? Some of his friends might like to see where he is and what he is doing.

      4. Hi Tony, thank you so much for asking about linking the article to FB ‘Felton League’. I like to ask Anthony if he is okay w/that since I don’t know how he feels about previous friends. Making a new start takes a lot of effort/support & so I want to respect his comfort zone. I let you know what he says, which might take a few days. Take care, jane

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